In the most expected legal maneuver since Vinny Gambini called Mona Lisa Vito as a witness, ousted Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling has appealed the ruling that approved the team’s sale to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
While the world wonders where NBA free agents like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Bosh will wind up, the Washington Wizards gave out $60 million to a guy most people couldn’t pick out of a lineup. On Tuesday, the Wizards re-signed center Marcin Gortat to a five-year deal, worth $12 million per season.
The 2014 NBA Draft will be upon us Thursday night and this year’s class is easily the deepest in a decade. While speculation has run wild over the past few days about who will go where, there is absolutely no question that any number of guys could be worthy of being the top pick this year.
With that in mind here are our final prospect rankings for this year’s draft. What follows is the top 30 players in this year’s draft class with a scouting report for each. Remember this isn’t the order I necessarily believe these guys will be drafted in, it’s just my ranking of their overall ability.
“I think the Spurs are gonna win it all,” my dad told me a few weeks ago. This was before San Antonio fully morphed into the fully operational Death Star of offensive efficiency that we watched eviscerate Miami in five games. Hell, this was before we knew if they would be able to shake the demons of 2012’s conference finals loss to Oklahoma City, much less the heartbreak in South Beach 12 months ago.
Throughout the history of sports, there have been a select number of franchises that have sustained success over a long enough period of time to be considered a dynasty. And Sunday night in San Antonio, we witnessed a truly unique dynasty add another championship to its historic legacy when it dethroned the two-time defending champion Miami Heat.
While speculation will certainly continue to run wild over the next two weeks, it seems that the Cleveland Cavaliers have made their decision as to who they will select with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. The Cavs were reportedly “blown away” by Kansas center Joel Embiid’s workout recently and unless the team is overwhelmed by a trade offer, he will be their pick.
Tuesday the New York Knicks hired Derek Fisher as their head coach. Less than two weeks ago Fisher was the backup point guard for the Oklahoma City Thunder. By hiring Fisher the Knicks became the second New York City basketball team in as many years to hire a player in his first year of retirement as a head coach. The Brooklyn Nets tapped 19-year pro Jason Kidd a year ago.
I’ve watched precious little of the 2014 NBA playoffs, and I ignored the long regular season, but I’ll likely watch most of the NBA Finals — whenever it finally begins after yet another long lay off — because the two best teams will again do battle. Knowing this type of clash occurs most years though, why should fans watch an often formulaic and endless six weeks of playoffs when most can predict the championship participants by mid-April or earlier?
For the second consecutive season, the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs will square off in the NBA Finals. For the fourth consecutive season, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have led the crew from South Beach to the precipice of NBA glory.
As the stage is set for what should be a phenomenal championship bout, some fans have chosen to look at the NBA with urine-colored glasses.
Yesterday Shelly Sterling, Donald Sterling’s wife of 59 years, agreed to sell the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft executive Steve Ballmer for $2 billion. Ballmer, who resides in Washington, was part of a group that bid for the Sacramento Kings last year in hopes of moving the team to Seattle. Ballmer is also an investor in Seattle’s Sonics Arena, an NBA-ready sports venue currently in development.